On the way down, Jeff Bezos told mission control: “You have a very happy crew here up here, I want you to know.”
After landing, Mark Bezos, 53, said: “I am unbelievably good.”
Jeff Bezos recently resigned as chief executive of Amazon, the e-commerce giant he founded, in order to concentrate on his other ventures, including Blue Origin.
Mark Bezos, is a senior vice president at Robin Hood, a New York-based charity.
The fourth passenger, Oliver Daemen, is the son of financier Joes Daemen, who founded Dutch private equity firm Somerset Capital Partners. Oliver Daemen had originally secured a seat on the second flight, but was drafted in to replace the anonymous winner of a public auction.
This unnamed winner, who paid $28 million to join Jeff Bezos on New Shepard’s first crewed flight, had to pull out “due to scheduling conflicts”.
Jeff Bezos is to step down as chief executive of Amazon, the e-commerce giant that he founded in his garage nearly 30 years ago.
The Amazon founder will become executive chairman, a move he said would give him “time and energy” to focus on his other ventures.
Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing business.
The change will take place in the second half of 2021, the company said.
In a letter to Amazon staff on February 2, Jeff Bezos said: “Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else.”
“As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.”
“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have,” he added.
Jeff Bezos, 57, has led Amazon since its start as an online bookshop in 1994. The firm now employs 1.3 million people globally, and saw its already explosive growth skyrocket last year, as the pandemic prompted a surge in online shopping.
Amazon reported $386 billion in sales in 2020, up 38% from 2019. Profits almost doubled, rising to $21.3 billion.
In announcing the plans, Jeff Bezos said he would continue to focus on new products and early initiatives.
“When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention,” he said.
“Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”
The move comes as Jeff Bezos has taken on an increasingly public profile.
He has endured a public divorce, become a target for labor and inequality activists, and got involved in other businesses, such as space exploration firm Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.
Amazon also faces increasing scrutiny from regulators, who have questioned its monopoly power. And its dominance in cloud computing is being increasingly challenged by other tech firms, such as Microsoft and Alphabet, parent company of Google and YouTube.
Jeff Bezos’s decision to hand over the day-to-day operation of the company came as a surprise. But investors appeared unfazed, with little change in the company’s share price in after-hours trade.
Andy Jassy, a Harvard graduate, has been with Amazon since 1997 and helped develop Amazon Web Services, which has long been seen as the profit engine of the company.
President Donald Trump has launched a fierce attack on Amazon, suggesting the online retail giant is ripping off the US Postal Service.
The president tweeted that the US Post Office would lose $1.50 “on average for each package it delivers for Amazon”, but supporters of Amazon dispute this.
President Trump also said the Washington Post was a “lobbyist” for Amazon.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which publishes stories unpalatable to Donald Trump.
The Post has reported on stories including Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s continuing investigation into links between the Trump election campaign and Russia, as well has the president’s alleged relationship with Stormy Daniels.
Saturday’s edition details how three different legal teams are scrutinizing the Trump Organization’s accounts.
Donald Trump’s attacks on Amazon have seen its share price fall in recent days, amid concern that he might push for its power to be curbed by anti-trust laws.
He tweeted that the US Post Office was losing “billions of dollars” in its contract with Amazon.
“If the P.O. ‘increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion.’ This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!” Donald Trump continued, quoting the New York Times.
Amazon has not commented.
However, supporters of Amazon point out that the Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the industry, has found that the US Postal Service makes a profit from its contract with the company.
This in turn helps subsidize the costs of letter delivery, which avoids the need for price rises.
Amazon has announced that it is buying Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal that marks its biggest push into traditional retailing yet.
The online retail giant, which has been experimenting with grocery offerings, will buy the upscale supermarket for $42 a share.
Founded in 1978 in Texas, Whole Foods was a pioneer of the move towards natural and organic foods.
Whole Foodshas grown to more than 460 stores in the US, Canada and the UK, and employs about 87,000 people globally.
Image source Wikimedia
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said: “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy.
“Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
Whole Foods has been under pressure from investors amid declining same-store sales. Last month, the company named a new chief financial officer and new board members.
In April, activist investor Jana Partners called Whole Foods’ shares undervalued, noting “chronic underperformance”.
The price being paid by Amazon marks a 27% premium to the level Whole Foods’ shares closed at on June 15.
The takeover deal is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”
John Mackey is expected to stay on as chief executive.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become the world’s third richest person, according to Forbes, after strong earnings from the company.
Jeff Bezos owns 18% of Amazon’s shares, which rose 2% in trading on July 28.
Forbes estimated Jeff Bezos’ fortune to be $65.3 billion.
Amazon’s revenue beat analysts’ expectations, climbing 31% from last year to $30.4 billion in Q2 of 2016.
The company’s profit was $857 million, compared with $92 million in 2015.
According to Forbes estimates, Jeff Bezos’ fortune is only surpassed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, worth $78 billion, and the $73.1 billion fortune of Zara founder Amancio Ortega.
Amazon had developed a reputation for announcing little or no profit each quarter, but appeared to hit a turning point last year and has seen improving earnings since.
Amazon shares have spiked 50% since February.
Its Prime membership, which offers extra services including free shipping for an annual fee, saw impressive international growth.
In June, Amazon launched Prime in India to take advantage of the country’s large consumer market.
Jeff Bezos said: “It’s been a busy few months for Amazon around the world, and particularly in India – where we launched a new [Amazon Web Services] Region, introduced Prime with unlimited free shipping, and announced that Prime Video is coming soon, offering Prime members in India exclusive access to Amazon Original Series and Movies – including original content featuring top Indian creators and talent.”
Amazon has boosted Prime membership by improving its video streaming offerings, an area in which it competes with Netflix.
Prime Day, Amazon’s annual promotional shopping festival earlier this month, was the company’s largest ever sales day.
Amazon does not release figures for its Prime membership, but Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated US membership to be close to 63 million. Members spend an average of $1,200 a year, compared with $500 by non-members, according to the research company.
The company’s cloud computing unit also spiked. Revenue for Amazon Web Services (AWS), climbed 58.2% to $2.89 billion, beating analysts’ exceptions of $2.83 billion.
Sales growth for the unit in North America climbed 10% and 8% in the rest of the world.
Amazon has grown its market share in cloud computing compared with rivals such as Microsoft and Google.
It introduced a new Asia Pacific region for its cloud unit this quarter.
Amazon has also been looking to expand its presence in other areas. The company has now launched its online grocery store in the UK.
Earlier this month, it announced a partnership with US bank Wells Fargo to offer discounts on student loans for members of its Prime Student services.
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